An overview of a land evaluation in the context of ecosystem services

Janků J., Jehlička J., Heřmanová K., Toth D., Maitah M., Kozák, J., Vopravil J., Vácha R., Jacko K., Herza T. (2022): An overview of a land evaluation in the context of ecosystem services. Soil & Water Res., 17: 1−14.

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The environment is changing quickly and it is ever more burdened in connection with the greater needs of human society. This fact has increased efforts to improve the management of land and natural resources and the necessity to evaluate them. Land valuations become more important as the land consumption increases. Soil needs to be evaluated in the whole context of how its quality is affected and the values it provides. The concept of ecosystem services offers this holistic view. This paper defines ecosystem services (ES), the various linkages between soil properties, their functions and benefits, the assessment of soil quality using indicators and then briefly mentions EU environmental assessment methods and terms used in the context of ES. The article also mentions frameworks with which to assess and evaluate the soil quality that can be divided into two groups. The first group is comprised of a framework of indicators that describe the current state of the soil system assessment for evaluating the quality of the agricultural land. This is based on a detailed measurement of the terrain, a statistical analysis of soil databases or processing the status of specific threats to the soil. The second group is comprised of a framework of indicators focused on changes in the soil quality and applied soil management. These frameworks deal with the productivity of the soil in various systems of farming, compare agricultural systems or discuss the advantages of soil biota as indicators of soil quality in detail. Many of the designs of the soil quality indicators focus on the soil management in the context of a single discipline such as agriculture or water pollution. There are concepts for considering the soil quality in regional planning.

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